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Yalda Afsah
Every word was once an animal

Softcover with dust jacket, 2022
21 × 25 cm
189 pages 

Softcover with dust jacket
21 × 25 cm
189 pages
Images in color
German / English 

Edited by:
Maurin Dietrich

With text contributions by: 
Fahim Amir, Maurin Dietrich, Cathrin Mayer and Gina Merz

Graphic design:

Publisher house:
DISTANZ Verlag, Berlin
ISBN 9783954764631

32.00 €

incl. shipping 


Every word was once an animal examines the relationship between animals and humans, provoking us to consider other modes of coexistance and co-habitation. The exhibition, as well as the eponymous publication, sketches an intimate portrait of mutual dependencies of human and non-human protagonists and includes, in addition to the comprehensive visual material, texts by Fahim Amir, Maurin Dietrich, Cathrin Mayer, and Gina Merz.

Every word was once an animal is initiated by Kunstverein München where the exhibition was on view from January 15 to April 3, 2022, and realized in cooperation with the HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark. On the occasion of the exhibition, Afsah’s first comprehensive catalog was published by DISTANZ.


Participating artists

Yalda Afsah

*1983 Berlin, lives in Berlin

German-Iranian artist and filmmaker Yalda Afsah explores how space can be cinematically constructed as her films profoundly explore the interface between reality and staging. This formal characteristic of Afsah’s work is conceptually mirrored in her recent portraits of human-animal relationships that reveal an ambivalence between care and control, physical strength and broken will, instinct and manipulation. Despite their documentary focus, her films and video installations seem to capture strange choreographies on screen – equally portraying and fictionalising their human and non-human protagonists. Afsah has presented her work at various exhibitions and festivals including Manifesta 13, Locarno Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, Institute of Contemporary Arts London, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf and Neuer Berliner Kunstverein. In 2018, she received the Karl Schmidt-Rottluff scholarship and from 2019 – 2021 she was a fellow at the Berlin University of the Arts’ Graduate School. She is currently a mentor for the Berlin program for artists (BPA).